A new malware called Crypto Locker Virus has been infecting computers via the Internet.
The malicious malware which infects computers using Windows PCs via fake UPS or FedEx tracking notification emails, holds every file on a user's computer ransom until they pay the hacker's demands.
The files are cryptographically locked, making users unable to access them. The hacker demands $100 in bitcoins within 100 hours. A ticking clock counts down, showing the time limit that the user has to fulfill the demands.
The CryptoLocker virus spreads when the fake UPS emails are opened. The file installs itself in the "Documents and Settings" folder, scans the hard drive and locks files associated with Microsoft Word and Adobe Photoshop. A pop-up window with the countdown then pops up, along with details on how to pay the ransom.
If users give in to the hacker's demands and pay the ransom, a key is given to decrypt the files. However, if the ransom is not paid within the 100 hours, the files cannot be restored and are lost.
The Crypto Locker is one of the dangerous types of malware, known as "ransomware." If the ransom is paid, the hackers do restore and decrypt the files, and return access to the hard drive.
So far, there is no security protection for this virus and users must be wary of opening any suspicious 'legitimate'-looking emails.